Today the Kimbell Art Museum announced the completion of a much-anticipated project - the Renzo Piano Pavilion. As the museum's first major expansion, the bone-white pavilion was designed to complement Louis Kahn’s 1972 design for the museum, now considered an icon of modernist architecture. Renzo Piano echoed elements of Kahn's work in the glass and concrete facade, creating an airy open gallery plan that doubles the museum’s space to accommodate the Kimbell's growing collection.
The new colonnaded pavilion echoes pieces of Kahn’s design in its height, scale and layout as well as in its heavy focus on a glass, concrete and wood palette. Within the pavilion’s two main structures–connected by glazed passageways–the interior gives way to an expression of transparency and airiness achieved by an open plan layout and glass walls. Daylight is carefully controlled through a complex layering system of stretched fabric, glass, and aluminum louvers located between the wooden beams.
The Piano Pavilion also integrates various energy efficient strategies that reduce the new structure’s energy requirements to just half that of the Khan building. “Because only a third of the interior is above ground, the museum will see greatly reduced demands for heating and cooling,” says Renzo Piano in a press release. The pavilion also features a publicly accessible green roof and solar panels.
The $135 million expansion project also includes the design of an underground parking garage, auditorium, and updated landscape design.
Images via Kimbell Art Museum